Posted January 18, 2014

Gay Russian protester detained after unfurling rainbow flag during torch relay

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Sochi (The Asahi Shimbun/Getty Images)

Gay rights at the Sochi Olympics have been a hot topic of conversation. (The Asahi Shimbun/Getty Images)

Pavel Lebedev, a gay Russian protester, was detained on Saturday after unfurling a rainbow flag during the Olympic torch relay in his hometown of Voronezh, which is 560 miles north of Sochi, according to the Associated Press.

Lebedev was seen in photos by his friends being wrestled to the snow by Olympic security personnel until police arrived.

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“Hosting the Games here contradicts the basic principles of the Olympics, which is to cultivate tolerance,” Lebedev said when reached by the AP while still in the police station.

Russian president Vladimir Putin said on Friday members of the LGBT community wouldn’t be harassed at the Olympics so long as they “leave children alone.” In June, Putin signed a law banning propaganda of “nontraditional sexual relations.”

The Sochi Games begin on Feb. 7.

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21 comments
ChadCollins
ChadCollins

Facts:

"Gay and bisexual men remain at the epicenter of the HIV/AIDS epidemic," says Jonathan Mermin, the director of the CDC's division of HIV/AIDS prevention.US News reports that if HIV infections among men who have sex with men (MSM) continue to rise at the current rates, more than half of college-aged homosexual men will have HIV by the age of 50. The CDC notes that while homosexual men make up only a very small percentage of the male population (4%), MSM account for over three-quarters of all new HIV infections, and nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of all new infections in 2010 (29,800).

Yep, this is "normal" behavior.  Call me a "bigot" and "hateful" all you want.  One thing you cant say is this is a lie.  Its straight from the cdc website.  

leehwgoc
leehwgoc

Nevermind homosexual persecution, over in eastern Europe racism continues to be brazenly rampant.  People don't even try to hide it over there.  Don't be shocked if over the course of the Games there's a major headline or two about black athletes hearing racial taunts/epithets from the Russian spectators.

mystafugee
mystafugee

To anyone saying keep politics out of the Olympics, please, it's always about that.  Look at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, they might as well have just played a Chinese propaganda video.  

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

Gee, aren't the Olympics a wonderful thing for the world? They bring such dignity. 

Putin is a worldwide embarrassment. I guess the US shouldn't boycott, the athletes have all worked very hard for the opportunity, but the stink from the bigots will undo virtually any hope of decency.

Spacedad
Spacedad

@ChadCollins Why can't straight people keep it in the bedroom where it belongs?  Always these straight couples holding hands in public, kissing, making out, with all these posters and ads and movies and TV shows showing heterosexual sex.  We get it, you're straight, keep it in the bedroom.


Just wanted to put your absurd bigotry in perspective.  Equality for gay people means being able to openly express your sexual identity the way that heterosexuals can.  We're here.  We exist.  Get used to us.

ChadCollins
ChadCollins

@RickapolisSo anyone that disagrees with homosexuality is a "bigot"?  How about incest or polygamy?  Are you a "bigot" if you disagree with those?  And yes, I am aware they are different. 

Tom52
Tom52

@Rickapolisif homosexuals would just go about their business there would be no controversy.

mgoblue0970
mgoblue0970

@Spacedad It's clear you haven't read the Russian law.  Do yourself a favor and educate yourself.  Quit parroting BSNBC talking points!!!

ChadCollins
ChadCollins

Would you agree the gay lifestyle is dangerous?  For example the facts show aids rates of gay men in London and Vancouver at all ALL TIME highs.  People are supposed to support that?  How about the targetting of kids?  Going all the way back to 1972, gays have targeted kids.  Look up the 1972 Gay Rights Platform, they wanted to abolish the legal age of consent.  I should support that?  Are you kidding?

Spacedad
Spacedad

@ChadCollins @Rickapolis And yes, you're a bigot for 'disagreeing' with a sexual minority who exists whether or not you 'agree' with them.  They exist.  You merely have to deal with the fact that we exist, and that we are deserving of inalienable equal rights like literally every other person on the planet is.  In this instance, you have chosen to deny us that inalienable equality by 'disagreeing' with our nature and what we are.  So yes, you are by definition, a bigot.

Spacedad
Spacedad

@ChadCollins @RickapolisIncest and polygamy are CHOICES.  Homosexuality is NOT A CHOICE.  You are either straight, or gay, or bisexual.  You don't control what gender your body is wired to be attracted to.

Spacedad
Spacedad

@Tom52 @Rickapolis I bet you would have been a real charmer to 1930's German Jews just before the Olympics.

Craig
Craig

@Tom52 @Rickapolis So, it's the old "hide in the closet and let the rest of us pretend you don't exist" mentality, huh?  Got news for you.  "Going about your business" includes things like being able to be seen in public doing outrageous things like holding hands with your partner and maybe even hugging.  It might include a same-sex couple walking with their children.  It might even include dressing in such a way as someone might think you could be...erm...different.


None of that is legal in Russia, because...well...a child might see real life and be somehow confused about...stuff.  These people don't get to "go about their business" so your comment makes no sense.  In the US you could unfold a CSA flag in public.  Some folks might be offended, and some might even say something to you, but it wouldn't be illegal and you wouldn't get tossed in jail.  Having a rainbow flag in Russia is a jailable offense!

jeebs
jeebs

@Tom52@Rickapolis Bigot much? You do know that in Russia LGBT are not allowed to "...just go about their business..." don't you? Hence, the unfurling of a harmless rainbow flag in protest. Wonder how you would feel about 18th cent. Americans "just going about their business" instead of revolting.

clu
clu

@ChadCollinsJust like Christians want to ban the use of medicine?  Oh, wait, that's only some Christians...

mgoblue0970
mgoblue0970

@Spacedad So much for the 1st Amendment in your twisted world.  Listen, I have no dog in this hunt, I could care less what you or anyone else in this world does.  Where I am completely fed up is when someone expresses an OPINION, they get labeled a "homophobe", "bigot", "racist".


Guess what clown, those words have their meaning because of their abuse.  I find it funny that homosexuals advocate tolerance -- but the fact of the matter is, you, and people who think like you, are hypocrites... you're only tolerant of your peer group.

ChadCollins
ChadCollins

Ok, so you do support bestiality, incest, and polygamy correct?

ChadCollins
ChadCollins

I was not aware that there is a gay gene!  NOBODY is born gay.  Its been proven time after time.  There are MILLIONS of ex gay people every day that said it was a choice all along.  Ive done studies on this topic